After the previous album-2004’s ‘Everyday Behaviour’ sold 15000 copies- the Californian outfit were snapped up by Warner Bros after a bidding war ensued between the major labels. Trimming the original thirty four songs available down to a less cumbersome twelve-thirteen if you include the hidden track-has ensured a far superior product to the emo tinged predecessor, an album that clearly displayed a marked crisis of identity. Howard Benson’s production has created the perfect environment for Melee’s infectious brand of piano driven pop rock to flourish.
Let’s clear one thing up, this is no shoe-gazing depressant, instead it is a celebration of smartly penned pop tunes, exquisitely performed and perfectly executed. The close knit harmonies and Chris Cron’s youthful take on Daryl Hall, hold the attention on the Hall and Oates pop and soul romp of ‘Imitation’, whilst the Queen of pop Elton John would have been proud of the homage paid to 70’s piano rock on the upbeat ‘Frequently Baby’ (She’s a Teenage Maniac). Although possibly too sugary sweet in its conception for the hardened palate, there is no arguing with the quality on offer throughout, particularly on the incredibly catchy first single ‘Built To Last’ or the sweeping gospel tinged ballad ‘Can’t Hold On’. It will be interesting to see how this album does on the Billboard charts as success will ultimately depend on whether or not the record buying public recognize this album for what it is, the finest pop album of 2007.